Thursday, February 6, 2014

You Do Your Own Taxes?

[Also considered as titles:  Talking with Turbo Tax, Who Needs an Accountant, and Where the Hell are my Forms?]

It's mid January and I have accumulated all of my necessary paperwork by either downloading it from the source or waiting for the mail.  I have decided on Turbo Tax Premier because we had some stock stuff and the sale of our home.  

You file your own taxes?  The question I hear most often.  Really?  There are accountants for that.  Yeah.  I know.  But it's not that hard......  Really? Really.

Working with Turbo Tax is a little like having a conversation with your best friend.  Only she doesn't look like the girl on the screen making the tsk tsk face at me when I try to file.  But that's a whole separate issue I will discuss later.  Working through Turbo Tax is a little like this:

Turbo Tax: Heyyyyyyy BFF!  Welcome back!  Thanks for buying me again!  Luckily you haven't bought a new computer in a bunch of years so all your old returns are filed away on here.  Do you want me to transfer over your information from years past?

Me:  Yeah great.  Thanks.

TT:  Okee.  Let's see.  You want me to walk you through this or do you think you can put on your big girl panties and do it yourself this year?

Me:  Walk me through it TT. I can't risk a mistake.  

TT:  K.  I've got this.  So did you move?

Me:  Yeah here's my new address.

TT:  Great.  We'll talk about your house later.  Right now let's talk about your kids.  You still got 3?

Me:  Yep.  Same 3. Wonder if I can get any extra cash for Hallie because she was a surprise....  you know.  There should be some benefit to that.

TT:  Nope.  No benefit.  But it has been 5 years.  Are you sure there aren't more dependents you should claim?  You have a history, ya know.  

Me:  Nope.  Everything's the same.

TT:  Awesome.  Let's move on then.  Do you have your shit together from your employer?  If not, I can probably get it for you.

Me:  Seriously?  Thanks!

TT:  Wait no.  Sorry.  Can't get yours.  

Me:  That's ok.  We got it.  

TT:  Awesome.  Looks like you made about the same amount as last year.  Too bad for you. Wait 'til you find out this year you have to pay a lot of AMT and you underpaid your Obamacare.  I mean Medicare.  

Me: Whaaaa?

TT:  [interrupts] I saw you moved.  Did you sell your other house?

Me:  Yes.  [peeks through split fingers]

TT:  K.  How much did you sell it for?

Me:  A lot.  (We love our neighbors)

TT:  Great.  How much did you pay for it?

Me:  Not a lot.  Whyyyyy?

TT:  Just asking.  Did you make any improvements?

Me:  Yes a ton.  [enters low ball figure of improvements even though it was a lot more]

TT:  Ouch.  You're good.  You took a pretty big loss on the house.  Dumbass.  Should have held out for more.  Why did you move again?

Me:  Enough already.  I don't need your 2 cents.  Well actually I do but I see you're rounding to the nearest .00 in your favor...  Anyhow, where do I report this?

TT:  Oh, the IRS would rather you didn't report it.  It kind of clutters their desk.

Me:  Seriously?  I want to report everything.

TT:  No.  It's cool.  They don't want to see your losses.  They don't care that you lost any money.  Silly girl.  Moving on ..... you sell any stocks or get any money gambling or other crap like that?  (Crap.  Noun.  Money you put into your bank that you were hoping you didn't have to tell anyone about.) 

Me:  Yeah.  Sold some stocks because we had to but only made $36 on that deal.

TT:  Bummer.  Still have to report it because they will and you know.  Every penny counts.  

Me:  Right.  Every penny.  That's why you're rounding right?  

TT:  Ignoring that because I sense your irritation.  OK, right now it looks scary like you owe some money over there on the top left but no worries, imma gonna make sure we get that into the green.  Ready for me to walk you through that?

Me:  Absolutely.  

TT:  Lets talk about your property taxes and mortgage interest.  Wow.  That's a big deduction.  

Me:  Happy to see that green finally.  *clinks computer screen*

TT:  Want to deduct anything else?  Last few years you had some pretty big charity contributions.  Want to claim those?  

Me:  Can't find receipts so nah.

TT:  How about Good Will?  Last year you donated to them.

Me:  Sure, I'll take the standard $500 even though we all know it was like $5000 but it's an audit risk over $500.  

TT:  Oh funny girl.  This year is a little different.  I need you to enter Every.  Single.  Item.  Line by line, dollar by dollar, using this garage sale calculator.

Me:  I had no donations to Good Will this year.

TT:  You just said you did.  I'm trying to help you.

Me:  It's not worth it.  Next year I won't waste my time donating.... Way to keep people interested in giving.

TT:  Hey, don't blame me.  Are you done entering everything?  

Me:  I think yeah.  Thanks.  

TT:  Perfect.  Let's review shall we?  And do an error check?

Me:  That'd be great.  Thanks.

TT:  kk

TT:  You might want to look this over.  And this.  [fixes errors]  You're good to go!  Ready to file?

Me:  Hell to the yes.  

TT:  Ohhhhhhh shoot.  Guess what?  You can't file yet.  A couple of the forms you need aren't ready.  Sorry about that.  

Me:  Seriously?  Can I just go on without them?

TT:  No.  And don't even try hitting the continue button.  I'll just circle you right back to me.  Right here.  

Me:  [sad face]

TT:  It's not my fault you are STILL WAITING on forms.  Don't shoot the messenger.  We can email you when the forms are ready or you can check back.  Whatevs.

Me:  Ohhhhhhh Turbo tax...... Why are you forsaking me now??? 

TT:  It's really not my fault.  Are we still friends?

Me:  We are.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Husband Works from Home

I am going to start a support group for wives whose husbands work from home.  I think we could have weekly lunch meetings where we could discuss the following:

1.  Will I ever vacuum again?
2.  How to keep the dog from barking when he is on a call.  Which is all day.  So basically 'How to keep the dog from barking.  Ever.'
3.  Yes I have lunch plans that don't include you.
4.  The washing machine .... Friend or foe?
5.  Inopportune times for the garbage disposal to make that awful noise like it's chopping up beer bottle tops.  (Because it is)
6.  What "beer thirty" means for moms.  (See 5)
7.  No, a nooner is not exercise.
8.  Yes, this IS what I do all day.
9.  Yes, I do miss you when you travel.  (This is the code name topic for "How to pretend you miss him when he travels when really you are happy to have the house to yourself")

The last time my husband went out of town I moved furniture, unpacked boxes (finally), built a dresser and set up an office.  I also cleaned the house like Rosa had been here.  (Rosa is the best cleaning lady in the south.  I love her.)

Now he is working in the office, doors open, on calls, so I tiptoe around afraid to make any noise for fear my loud slippers swish swishing on the floor will make that big deal go bad.

I am actually thankful to have a husband who 1) has a good job and 2) is around.  There are times between calls when a mirror needs to be hung or a kid needs to be picked up from the school early because of a tummy ache and I am stuck at Target.

Target.  Number 10.  Why Target is like a little slice of heaven.  Especially if they have a Starbucks when you first walk in.